Steamboat's Glueck takes 3 1st places in N.Y. meet

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— Alex Glueck managed to add three more first-place finishes to his season statistics as he swept the Nordic combined events at the Lake Placid New Year's meet.

Glueck led his Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club teammates as he collected first in the mass start, 5K sprint and 10K events that are being used to determine the U.S. team for the World Junior Championship.

"(Glueck) stepped up his jumping," coach Chris Gilbertson said. "Training here in Steamboat, he hasn't been skiing as well. When the competition came around, he started skiing better."

On Saturday, Glueck started off the meet by coming in first in the 5K cross-country race, beating out Geoff Howe in a sprint to the finish line. With the mass start event, which reverses the traditional order of ski jumping and then cross-country skiing, Glueck's first-place finish in the race gave him 120 points going into the jumping competition. He maintained the lead by turning in the longest jump distances to win the event.

Steamboat's Ethan Johnson took third place in the event and Bryan Fletcher took fourth. Adam Schwall also placed in the top 10 for the event.

After Johnson placed first in the jumping portion of Saturday's sprint competition, Glueck came from a second-place start in the 5K race to win the event. Johnson held off Morgan Goodwin for third place.

Eric Camerota of Park City also passed Johnson in the race to take second. Schwall and Fletcher were the other two club members to place in the top 10 in the second day of competition at Lake Placid.

On Monday, the skiers faced their most draining competition in the three-day series the 10K cross-country race.

"They put everything they had in the first 5K and were asked to do it again in the second 5K. And then one more time with the 10K," Gilbertson said.

After placing first in the jumping portion, Glueck captured his third win in three days by maintaining his lead in the 10K race. Goodwin took second and Trey Oxford of Park City took third.

For Steamboat, Fletcher, Johnson and Schwall placed in the top 10.

"(The weekend) was hectic and complicated, but the guys did really well," Gilbertson said. "They were definitely tired the day they went into the 10K."

All of Steamboat's competitors are younger than 19, and their results from the Lake Placid meet can be used to determine the four or five athletes for the U.S. team for the World Junior Championship.

Gilbertson said the top two finishes in the three events and coaches' discretion likely will decide who will compete in the World Junior Championship in Germany at the end of January.

The U.S. team for the World Junior Championship should be named in the next few days.

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